Witten named to 2017 Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame

Published 9:32 pm Thursday, May 11, 2017

Roughly 25 years ago, life could have gone differently for Jason Witten.
The Elizabethton native and Dallas Cowboys tight end shared his story of growing up Wednesday as he was inducted into the Boys & Girls Club of America Alumni Hall of Fame during the awards ceremony held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.
“Very honored to be inducted to the Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame tonight. Thanks to all the men and women who work so hard to give so much to the youth of America. It makes a difference. It did with me!”, Witten said a post on Facebook following the ceremony.
Witten was one of seven inductees – a pool that spanned from medical professions, athletes and actors – that was brought into the 2017 Alumni Hall of Fame. Other inductees included:
• Dante Lauretta, Ph.D.
• Anthony Anderson
• Paul “Triple H” Levesque
• Tony Clark
• Philip S. Schein, M.D.
• Skylar Diggins
Before accepting an accolade for being inducted, a video was displayed for attendees that showcased the life and career of Witten while also highlighting the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County.
“Jason is the epitome of a ‘model club member’, embodying the good character that we want to see in all of our kids,” said Ginny Wright, director of the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County. “ He is truly most deserving, and it meant a lot that we were able to celebrate this achievement with he and Michelle. After all, the Witten family has done so much for club kids and that all started here in Elizabethton.”
Wright, Elizabeth Williams and Danny Smith were among the local representatives that took part in Wednesday’s event to recognize Witten.
During his speech, Witten said his life could have gone differently if it wasn’t for the lessons learned from the organization and his grandparents.
“Some 25 years ago, my brother and I were left really for forging tough roads ahead,” he told attendees. “ … My life could have went 1,000 different ways, and 998 of them weren’t good.”
While speaking during the event, Witten commended the efforts of the Boys & Girls Clubs worldwide and shared there is optimism for the future with the work being done by volunteers and employees spending time with children each day.
Witten’s not only kept a Hall of Fame-worthy NFL career under his belt. The numerous time Pro Bowl tight end for the Cowboys was able to launch a variety of charities thanks to the work of his SCORE Foundation. While staying busy in the Texas area, the Cyclone never forgets his roots by contributing to the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, along with Dallas and Knoxville, and hosting his annual Witten Camp for children within the region at Citizens Bank Stadium on the Elizabethton High School campus.
While the former Cyclone grows, so does the local center.
Last month, the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County held a grand reopening to showcase new additions inside the facility thanks to work of different civic organizations, including Elizabethton Rotary Club, Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation and even major national retailers like the local Wal-Mart branch that provided updated technology.
Witten is quick to point out the success of the organization is regularly encouraging individuals to show their support for the Boys & Girls Club across the country, including his hometown facility.
For more information on the nonprofit organization, whether to get involved with donations or volunteer hours, visit www.bgcecc.org or 423.543.2946.
But as the Cowboy wrapped up his remarks, he did tell the Dallas crowd he hopes to have some additional hardware next year.
“I hope to join you guys next year as a Super Bowl champion,” he said with a laugh.

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